There are plenty of hate reads out there for folks who seek out annoyster-penned blogs, online news sites, and social-media pages to feel some sort of warped sense of inner peace. Problem is, there’s so much to hate hate hate online.
No worries. We sifted through the dreck so that you can get an instant injection of rage into your angsty center.
The aggregation-style website “dedicated to your stories and ideas” includes subjects that read like undergraduates taking themselves too seriously or topics that might only sound cool if they were performed like slam poetry. Problem is, even slam poetry is better than Thought Catalog and slam poetry is the worst.
There are LiveJournal-style confessionals (“Whenever I Kiss Someone Who Isn’t You,” “My Heart is a House of Open Doors,” “I Have a Father, But He’s Not You”); millennial-centric musings on dating and style (“Why I’ve Stopped Trying to Break Everyone’s Heart,” “7 Pieces of Shoe Advice for Men from 434 Single Women”); and miscellaneous (“The Upside of Failure: Had I Written a Bestseller, I’d Probably Be Dead,” “Conversations With Dead People: Session One, Marilyn Monroe,” “25 Fun and Gross Things You Didn’t Know About Your Butt").
And at the time of writing, there was 10,252 pages of the stuff.
A cliché is a cliché because it’s usually an often-repeated truth. BuzzFeed, which claims to be “intensely focused on delivering high-quality original reporting,” is an easy target. For damn good reason.
“19 Memes for Everyone Who Just Really Fucking Loves McDonald’s.” “How Pout Perceptive Are You?: Lips Don’t Lie.” “How Many Pairs of Pajamas Does Ted Cruz Think Chuck Norris Owns?” “21 Movies to Get You Ready For Wedding Season.”
These were all found in about five minutes (which is five minutes too long to spend on BuzzFeed) of random scrolling and clicking.
“Taco journalism” and taco wars
Last month, the mayors of Austin and San Antonio publicly spared over which city has the choicest tacos in the state. The two city leaders even declared a taco summit. State media outlets lapped up the manufactured donnybrook like a salsa-dunked chip.
Dudes. It’s a taco. Yes, they’re rad, but here’s the thing: A taco is a tortilla of some sort and a few fillings. That’s it. You can often make it just as awesome, if not more killer, at home.
If “Texas’ Taco War” doesn’t up the core percent angst, one can check out the taco journalism genre. In 2013, two self-proclaimed “taco journalists” published Austin Breakfast Tacos: The Story of the Most Important Taco of the Day. Soon, the pair will follow with The Tacos of Texas. Please do not put us on the pre-order list.
Any trend piece by the New York Times
The NYT seems to ask the questions others are afraid to get into, even when they’re trying to decipher when a cappuccino is a legitimate cappuccino. Other deep dives into controversial topics, often located in the style and dining sections, include pieces like “How I Became a Hipster” and “Chopped Salad Has Become the Lunch of Choice in the Northeast.”
However, the trend piece went off the cliff with the 2015 story “Is That Cappuccino You’re Drinking Really a Cappuccino?” The piece leads with: “What if the cappuccino you had this morning was not, in fact, a cappuccino? Scary. More worrisome still: What if your flat white was?”
They appear to be completely serious. How else to explain the 864-word count?
Outside of awesome breaking-news posts such as the Manti Te’o fake dead girlfriend fiasco, the Gawker Media-owned sports site might be tops in click bait.
The editorial staff, comprised of predominately bro-dudes (there are just a handful of woman on the masthead posted earlier this year) is all about writing thin stories with snarky headlines such as “Jumpin’ Jehoshaphat, Take A Look At This Goddamned 7-Foot Chinese Boxer.”
When there is a decent word count, it’s 1,200 words devoted to a story entitled “Oh My God Oh My God I Think Russell Westbrook Could Beat Up My Dad.”
Stories that are basically screenshots of Twitter posts
The storytelling style employed by sports websites has devolved into screen captures of tweets. On some espn.com stories, for instance, there are more Twitter captures than actual copy, and writers/editors don’t seem to care if a tweet might be tapped out by a hired lackey (rather than from a star athlete or sports executive).
Last month, the reliance on Twitter (versus actually picking up a phone and making calls) got goof troop. Multiple websites – including CBS Sports, USA Today, Bleacher Report, Sports Illustrated, Washington Post, and even The Guardian in the United Kingdom – published stories (with Twitter screenshots, duh) about LeBron James unfollowing the Cleveland Cavaliers’ Twitter account. Ultra meta.
Stories about millennials and Gen Y-ers
For some oddball reason, there’s an obsession about people born between 1982 and 2002 and how they think, what they blog/tweet/Tumblr/text, how they get along with their Boomer and Gen X-er parents, if they French press or AeroPress or Bialetti they’re signature coffee at home, what music they listen to while walking through an airport terminal, etc.
That’s cool, but that makes a giant impact on society how?
One of the top offenders: The New York Times with pieces about Bay Area millennials, how millennials apparently re-define mourning for humankind, millennial wedding planners, and (naturally) millennials shunning the term millennial.
This so-called airbrush-free feminist site (also owned by Gawker Media) once paid Vogue $10,000 for untouched photos of Lena Dunham, then ran an inflammatory and childish post with the non-doctored images. They’ve also talked unnecessary smack about celebrities with weight issues and published misguided reports in pieces like “Can You Tell the Difference Between a Men’s Magazine and a Rapist?”
Annoyance aside, Jezebel might be poisoning conversations about gender and sexual violence, the Los Angeles Times has said.
Either way, Thought Catalog (ugh) felt compelled to weigh in on whether Jezebel is trolling the feminist movement or not in a piece called “Why Jezebel Has the Wrong Approach to Feminism, Period.”
The Facebook pages of an ex-boyfriend/girlfriend and their maybe new boyfriend/girlfriend
Eighty-eight percent of Facebook users hate scroll through an old lover’s Facebook page, according to Veronika Lukacs, who wrote a masters thesis during her time at Western University called “It’s Complicated: Romantic Breakups and Their Aftermath on Facebook.” Lukacs’ study also found that 80 percent of survey respondents lurked over the pages of a new partner or a suspected new beau.
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Oh, you poor thing. You hate read because you still love them.
Houston Chronicle meme series
Nearly every week, the Chron top loads its home page with memes that they’ve grabbed from social media and other websites. It’s usually about sports – see (or, better yet, don’t see) its weekly memes following NFL Sundays – or other lame topics like the Powerball jackpot and New Year’s Eve.
Dismissing the opinion that memes are played out (which is an entirely different topic), the Chron picks things that are rarely, if ever, funny.
“Cheech Marin posts meme of Texas man who rides bike in Mexican pointy boots, suit and cowboy hat”? Oy vey.